Well, things are certainly not going according to plan in the second half of season 9. By this time in every other Master League that I’ve played, at least some Treble-oriented momentum has started to build. This time, in PES2015, I’m actually going backwards, away from the Treble.
Having been eliminated from the Champions League before January, I was bounced into the Europa League’s Round of 32, where I was drawn in a two-legged knockout match against Benfica.
In PES years past, I’d have done very well in the Round of 32, and maybe even gone on to win it. That’s the kind of thing that traditionally happens at this stage of a Master League. You start hoovering up the outliers while lining up your tilt at the Treble. It’s the kind of tendencies that Master League… tends toward.
Not this year. Not for me.
I drew the first leg 0-0 at Benfica, and lost the second leg at my place 0-2, and was out. It felt like a much more comprehensive defeat than the raw stats say it was.
It was one of those matches where afterwards I couldn’t recall having a proper goal-scoring chance, or any kind of decent spell in the game. All my strikers were missing, all my creative players were missing, and at crucial moments my defenders and keeper were missing.
So I was eliminated from the Europa League. Again.
I’m not saying this was a scripted outcome. After years of Master League you just know when you’ve run into a Scripty McScript of a match, and this didn’t feel like one.
Instead it felt like I was trapped in a whole other dimension of trouble, a more fundamental one, where the game’s general difficulty and core mechanics – i.e., the very nature of the game – held me at bay.
And things have not been that much better in the league. The current table:
Out of 9 matches played since the last post, I’ve won about 2, drawn about 4, and lost the remainder.
I’ve just about stayed in touch within the Champions League qualification mini-league, but from a title-challenging point of view, realistically speaking, even the most generous of scripting fairies would struggle to look kindly on me now.
But we shall see. The way I’m playing, it doesn’t look likely, but it’s not impossible. I would need to go on a Run.
My Regen Robben has started to have little magic moments from match to match. He’s still only 17, and showing it – his stamina lasts for less than a half, so his appearances are nearly all substitute ones. He scored this fine chest-and-volley:
Chest-and-volley goals like that one are very much a PES2015 ‘thing’, one of the game’s hallmarks that will be remembered in years to come.
Every PES has its hallmarks. I don’t recall so many chest/thigh-volleys being present in any other PES, ever.